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Small Business Tips \ OCT 27th 2015

The A-Z of Building a Thriving Small Business

So you’ve got an idea that you’re itching to unleash into the world and you decided to start a new business. Congratulations! Whether you’re an artist, a consultant, a restaurateur or a lawyer, plunging into the world of self-employment and entrepreneurship can be scary, but the rewards of success go far beyond the bottom line on your bank statement.

If you’re just starting from scratch or looking to boost the small business you already have running, Wix is here to give you a leg up on the competition and send you on your way. From creating a website to writing killer newsletters, you can do it all! Follow this cheat sheet from A to Z and your business will be bound to thrive.

act now

Take the plunge! The number one thing that sets successful entrepreneurs apart is that they’re willing to take risks and step into the unknown. While many people have great ideas, only the bold few act on them. Looking for inspiration? Check out our amazing users who have already jumped into the deep.

brand yourself

One of your first steps should be building your brand. That means choosing a business name, designing a logo and establishing the look and feel you want for your business. Doing this early on will help establish the brand identity and save a whole lot of work down the line.

create

Create a killer website that clearly explains who you are and what you do. Starting today, you can create a website with Wix that will impress potential clients at first glance.

distinguish yourself

Knowing what sets you apart from the competition and making it clear to your audience gives you an edge over “the other guys.” Emphasize the specific benefits and expertise of your company and you’ll be sure to stand out!

email marketing

It’s basic – Email marketing works. From your first customer to your five thousandth, keeping your contacts informed is a great way to drive recurring business and attract new customers. Track your customers’ contact information and use it to send out periodic e-newsletters. Share helpful information, coupons, seasonal items or announcements of sales. You can start with our insanely easy to use newsletter tool, Wix ShoutOut.

financial matters first

From accounting and taxes to establishing a clear payment plan with your clients, take care of financial matters as soon as you can. Be honest, don’t cut corners and always make sure that you and your client are on the same page. Finally, be sure to work with an expert when needed. A great accountant is almost always worth the expense.

get back to people right away

If you receive an email, respond to it quickly. Client calling you on the phone? Give them a call back as soon as you can. Being reliable and responsive will establish your credibility and impress customers. An overlooked email can easily cost you a client. PS. If you’re a Wix user and are looking to chat with us, you can find our tech team 24/7.

hit the pavement

Network Network Network. It can be a scary word, but it’s really quite simple. Start by introducing yourself to business owners and influential community members. Besides, isn’t that what you bought the stack of business cards for?! Putting yourself out there is the best way to spread the word and bring in new clients.

identify your niche

It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big sea. This is why we applaud business owners who have found their niche and perfected it. You can quickly rise through the ranks in a smaller market, whereas flooded markets with endless competitors can make for some tough swimming.

join the local Chamber of Commerce

Why not? It’s a great way to meet other business owners and learn about local advertising opportunities. Plus, it gives your business a seal of legitimacy and professionalism.

know your customers

Have you ever heard the phrase, “The customer is always right”? This can be a challenge as a small business owner, which is why you want to get to know your clientele and understand their needs even before they do. Choose a specific target market and then take the time to learn what they’re looking for. Once you’ve done that you can better market your product and provide exceptional service.

love what you do

Passion is contagious! Customers will be impressed and more likely to work with you when when they sense that you really love what you do.

a-z_v

mom matters

So does your spouse, your kids and your best friend. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family who will help you through the ups and downs of your new venture. They’ll offer honest feedback, hug you after a long, bad day and be right by your side to celebrate every win.

network like crazy

Every single person you meet is a potential lead, from the flight attendant on your airplane to the person in line behind you at the bank. Converse with strangers and tell them about what you do. While some might bring you clients, others might offer brilliant ideas that can take your business in a whole new direction.

open yourself to possibilities

While you may have had one thing in mind when you were just starting out, an entirely different direction could ultimately be what builds your road to success. Be open to new ideas, new markets and new ways of doing things. Rule #1: Don’t be afraid to experiment.

professionalism

From the tone of your emails to the design of your business cards, professionalism needs to remain at the forefront of your mind. A little tip from us, always, always use spell check.

question everything

Never get stuck in the groove – even when things are working great. Always ask yourself questions and push yourself to grow.

returning customers

It’s far easier to close a deal with past customers than to start from scratch with new ones. Stay in touch with your clients and be on the lookout for opportunities to work with them again. One way to encourage them to keep coming back is by offering special deals and events to your loyal customers.

socialize

Both in the real world and by using social media networks, having a large presence on social media is a great way to engage with new clients, learn about your competitors and gain inspiration. The more active you are online, the more likely you are to be discovered. For our lovely Wix users, you can add a social button to your website in a matter of clicks.

teach a free class

If you have a specific area of expertise, share it with your local community. Whether at the library, in a business development center or at a school, a free class or lecture gains you exposure and allows you to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

under promise, over-deliver

Expectations are everything and you want your customers to be overjoyed with the results of working with you. Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver on. Keep expectations reasonable and impress them at the end by over-delivering when you can.

VIP treatment

Forget Kim Kardashian. You want to make every customer feel like a star. Make time for their phone calls, answer their every question and cater to their whims, within reason. Happy clients are the key to a successful business.

word of mouth

Word of mouth advertising is still the most effective off and online, which is why a VIP treatment for every customer makes a huge difference! Your customer base will grow exponentially over time if your clients are impressed with what you have to offer.

xcellence

Be an expert at what you do. If you’re not exceptional yet, find a trusted mentor until you’re ready to go into business. There’s always more to learn.

your personal integrity

Integrity is not just something for your personal life, it is an essential component of being a successful small business owner. This applies to your products, relationships with employees and transparency with clients. Plus, you’ll earn loads of karma points for your honesty and develop a reputation you can be proud of.

Zzzs

Much needed rest, that is. Be sure to get it and, regardless of how busy you are, don’t forget to take time away from work. Burnout is a big risk for small business owners, so be sure to give yourself the TLC you need.

Remember that nothing says “We’re in business!” like a brand new website. Ready to take the plunge? Create your new website today!

by The Wix Team
Wix

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